Friday, September 12

Cuenca, Ecuador

Inside the New Cathedral, built in 1880
The domes of the Cathedral are visible from all parts of Cuenca.
Incan Ruins
Parque Calderon is the gathering spot in the middle of town.
Murals grace the sides of many buildings

Thursday, September 11

Plink (Plink.com) Shuts Down, Redemptions Not Allowed

I received an email this evening informing me that Plink, a loyalty rewards program, is closing its doors - shutting down the company - effective immediately.  Here's the text of the email they sent:
To Our Loyal Plink Members, 

With much sadness and heavy hearts, we are sorry to tell you that Plink is closing its doors. As of today, the Plink site will be shut down and the program will cease to function. 

As a start-up, we are reliant on continued funding and over the last year we have been unable to secure any additional funding. Unfortunately, without that funding, Plink can no longer continue to operate. As a team, we did everything we could to keep Plink alive, but we have now run out of time and options. 

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our loyal members who have supported us for the last three years. As a team, we want to thank all of our members, for their loyalty and continuing to stick with us to the end. We couldn’t have made it this far without such an amazing loyal, committed group of members. 

We also want to thank all of our advertisers and partners who supported us over the last three years. It was their belief in us and willingness to support a small start-up that allowed Plink to grow. We are proud to have partnered with some of the largest restaurant and retail brands in the United States. 

Moving forward, all Plink accounts will be closed. No further points can be redeemed. Thanks to all from the Plink Team. 

Any further questions can be directed to support@plink.com. 

Sincerely,
The Plink Team 

What sucks is that, near the end of the email, they advise "No further points can be redeemed."  The thing is, I made purchase decisions based on the incentives being offered by Plink.  To deny me the chance to redeem my points is low down.  The company should have maintained a separate account ("Redemptions Payable") for what they owed their members.  Instead, they used the funds in daily operations.  This is wrong!

Unfortunately, I can't see how raising a stink is going to accomplish anything.  The company is shutting down, so funds aren't there to make things right.  Guess the lesson here is to always redeem points in your loyalty programs sooner rather than later.

Fortunately, there is another site I have used heavily:  Ebates.  I've been paid hundreds of dollars in Ebates by linking from their site to do my shopping.  For example, as I've been remodeling my new home, I've ordered from Lowes.com, receiving a 2% rebate every time.  Even better, by ordering online, Lowe's prepares my order and has it ready for me at the front of the store.  Gotta love that!